My boys were born at the end of October so we have had plenty of Halloween inspired birthday parties. These cupcakes impress young guests and they are quite fun to make.
The decoration is way easier than it looks: The white frosting is made with a box of confectioners sugar and 5-8 tablespoons of milk. Combine 3 cups Confectioner's sugar with 4 tablespoons of milk. Add the remaining milk very gradually, checking the consistency as you go. You want the frosting to be thick enough that it coats the cupcake well and does not run off the top, but thin enough to give a smooth surface. When you think you have it about right test it on one of your cupcakes. If it is too runny add more confectioners sugar. If it is too thick, add a little more milk - just a few drops at a time. Melt chocolate chips in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Put melted chocolate in a piping bag with a small plain tip, or in a paper cone. Coat the cupcakes with the white frosting. Pipe a spiral of chocolate on top. Use a toothpick to create the web by starting in the center of the cupcake and drawing the point to the edge, repeating until the web is complete. Top with a plastic spider ring. I work in batches of 6 cupcakes to ensure that the frosting and chocolate remain soft enough to get the desired effect. Once the frosting starts to set the chocolate does not blend with the frosting to create the webs. (There is a wide margin for error, I promise!)
You can use whatever cake or cupcake recipe you love. I am partial to this one from Martha Stewart.